I’m afraid I may be weird. I’m sure that is surprising to you, especially if you know me. You kind of thought I was the epitome of normal and the rest of the world may be strange. Most certainly when I’m hanging on to your pants leg for dear life at a cocktail party or muttering incoherently after I’ve used up “all my words”.
Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop called Java the Hutt in the middle of Roanoke Memorial Hospital and for the first time well in, almost forever, I am moved to blog.
I’m waiting for a friend to get out of surgery, to get into recovery, to become lucid enough for me to drive home. And I love it. I absolutely adore being here. I AM WEIRD, I REALIZE. Most people run from the hospital, hate to visit sick loved ones, feel very real yet irrational fear concerning their own mortality. And here I am, having the time of my life.
Right about now I could feel pretty prideful. Martyr-like. But I don’t. I feel comfortable and intimate in my sterile surroundings.
Somehow being here feels about as close to privilege as I can imagine. I am a feeler, so I sense people’s emotions. Sometimes that’s not fun at all. But somehow here, when many of those emotions aren’t exactly rosy ones, I feel peace. I learned years ago when my own dad was sick and in and out of the hospital that experience gives you the right to speak into illness, sickness, mortality and even death. And it gives you God ordained courage.
Decades later when I did a brief pastoral stint at a large local church, I loved Fridays when I was PASTOR OF THE DAY. Being POTD meant whatever came up on Fridays, emergency or imagined emergency, was my gig. God walked me through things I could by no means handle in my own Lynneness: a ridiculous poorly timed joke may bring levity in an uncomfortable hospital room full of family not speaking to one another, but had no place in the face of a spontaneous suicide. Prayers brought about by my being completely out of my comfort zone and absolutely in need of the Holy Spirit, actually worked. I didn’t have the right words. I don’t have the right words. All I have to offer is my presence and dependence on His Spirit to minister and bring tears and comfort, laughter and love. The reward is being a witness to miracles. Miracles of healing, of comfort, or the greatest miracle of all, a changed heart.
The reason I love this is about intimacy. There is nothing, nothing, nothing more intimate than simply being with someone who needs Him, who needs me, because I bring Him with me. People here are vulnerable, and with vulnerability comes openness. I love it. Maybe someday I’ll try being a candy-striper, if they still have those for old ladies. Candy-stripers had cute little aprons and pink striped dresses. Most of them were in it for their college resume. Haha. Nah. Maybe I’ll stick to tie-dye and a whole lot of help from the One who also loves being with us in our intimacy. Because He is Intimacy. It’s his desire and why he created us. To be with us in joy, in despair, in excitement and in our most fearsome places.
But right now my friend’s surgery has been delayed so I think I’m going to go up to the 10th floor and smile at all the babies. Hopefully the Lord will put someone in my way who needs a kind word, a smile or His hope.
Thank you, Jesus. Without you I would be the one cowering in the corner, unable to have the right words. But because you allowed me to experience tragedy at a young age, you also bestowed upon me gold membership in the intimacy club, and I am forever thankful.